Editor’s Note: This blog has been updated to reflect the fact that the legislation passed the House Transportation Committee on Monday, June 10.
The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee met on HB 792, which would make it easier to install parking-protected bike lanes on PennDOT roads, on Monday morning.
The legislation passed the House Transportation Committee, unanimously.
Introduced by State Rep. Dave Maloney of Berks County, the legislation would change the definition of a “curb” in the state motor vehicle code, to allow for easier installation of protected bike lanes.
Currently, the state code requires all motor vehicles park within 12 inches of a ‘curb,’ and does not define a curb as paint and flex posts, so PennDOT will not install parking-protected bike lanes, and pedestrian plazas, on state roads.
House Bill 792 — and Senate Bill 565, introduced by State Sen. Larry Farnese of Philadelphia — would change the vehicle code, allowing for a broader interpretation of what a curb is.
Once law, this bill would allow for easier installation of parking-protected bike lanes in municipalities all over Pennsylvania. While many Pennsylvania cities and towns already have parking-protected bike lanes, getting them installed is more difficult than it needs to be, because of this archaic language in the code.
Bicycle Coalition staff was in Harrisburg today for meetings and to attend the House Transportation meeting. Follow @RandyLoBasso for updates and additional background and context on this legislation.
Here are all my tweets throughout the day in Harrisburg:
Headed to Harrisburg this morning for meetings re: HB792, which would make it easier to install protected bike lanes on state streets in Pa. The legislation will get a committee hearing at 11:30. I will provide as many live updates as possible.
— Randy LoBasso (@RandyLoBasso) June 10, 2019
If you haven’t yet, join the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Bike Pittsburgh, and nearly 700 people across the Commonwealth, in sending a message to members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees, asking them to support this legislation.
Protected bike lanes and pedestrian plazas make streets safer for everyone — including drivers.
This means step 1 is in the books, with Step 1 being getting the bill passed the House Transportation Committee. Step 2 is getting it through the full House. Step 3 is getting it through the Senate Committee. Step 4 is getting it through the full Senate. Step 5 is the governor’s signature.
We are hearing the bill could get a vote in the full House as early as next week. While that is the earliest it could even come up for a vote, it’s cutting everything very close, given the Legislature goes on vacation for the summer when the state budget passes.
P.S. The House Transportation Committee also vote unanimously to move HB37, which would ban the use of cell phones while driving.
Please DO NOT refer to Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code as the motor vehicle code. Every time you do that, it minimizes the legitimacy of bicycles on Pennsylvania roadways. NJ uses that term, but it should not be used in PA. It’s also confusing to say that HB 792 will allow PennDOT to install parking protected bike lanes on state roads, when the the goal is to get them mostly in urban areas like Philadelphia (city streets).